several weeks ago, back in 2016 when we were still on our 2016 Obamacare insurance, before they canceled it and we had to get on different, worse Obamacare insurance, the PSE had a dermatologist appointment.
she had made it a month or two previous to see about getting something gross burned off of her face.
for two, three years now the PSE had been walking around with a mole on her cheek.
nothing too unsightly, it wasn't a different color from the rest of her face, it was just a flesh-colored bump, but moles give me the heebie-jeebies and i've been after her to do something about it for a while.
skin should be clean and clear an smooth.
freckles and even sun spots are fine if they are one dimensional but once these little cancers start to take shape, you've got to get them sliced the fuck off.
the PSE and i were out on our Great Adventure for most of the time that the PSE had her unsightly tumor but now that we're back in the first world and have access to medical insurance, it is time for that aberration on her face to go.

the dermatologist told the PSE that she would try to burn the thing off.
the PSE wanted it carved out because a knife works better then hot heat but for reasons the PSE isn't clear on, the dermatologist refused to use the knife.
so, the Dermatologist pressed a car cigarette lighter into the charger, it popped out a half a minute later and he pressed it to the PSE's cheek.
the PSE smelled her own meet sizzling and the doctor told her “in a week when this heals, maybe your mole will be gone.
maybe it won't? who knows.
fuck you, pay me!!”
three weeks later and the PSE's face is not completely smooth.
the burning might have helped a little, but the PSE says she can still feel the growth on her cheek.
i haven't really noticed it, but maybe that's just because i have trained myself to stop looking at that part of the PSE's face.
i know if i go looking for it i'm just gonna get myself all creeped out.

the Dermatologist made a point to say that he would not stand behind his work.
whatever he did to the PSE's face was what he would do and if it didn't work the PSE would just have to come on back and pay him some more money to do it again.
the point is moot, though, because the PSE is no longer on an insurance plan that covers this asshole.
maybe the PSE will try her luck with a different dermatologist asshole sometime down the road but for now, it's not a high priority.

while the PSE was visiting with the dermatologist she got to talking about the different creams, balms and salves she likes to smear on her face every day to keep away acne and old age.
i suspect the PSE only went along for the burning-shit-off-of-her-face part as a way to appease me any my peculiarities so that i wouldn't give her grief about spending a bunch of money on her own peculiarities.
if the PSE put enough effort into rocket science as she does in staving off the natural aging process we'd be living in a condo on the moon by now.
i laugh at the PSE for all the effort she puts in, but i guess it's better then the alternative of having an ugly girlfriend.
anyways, the PSE wanted the dermatologist to write her a script for whatever potion she likes to use.
he said that he would, then sent the PSE back up to the receptionist to pay a whole buttload of money.
they demanded $20 for the mole burning that didn't actually work and $80 for the “exam” to write the PSE a prescription for her face cream.
the PSE told them to just go ahead and bill our insurance company but they said that that wouldn't work.
apparently they billed our Obamacare insurance for another visit the PSE had to the dermatologist a month previous but the insurance company didn't pay them.
i have no idea why.
the Dermatologist didn't bother to send us the bill for that visit but for this one, they were insisting on cash.
it would have been nice if they told the PSE this up front.
now, the odds are that the PSE was getting suckered from one direction or the other on this deal, either by the Dermatologist or the Insurance Company or both, but the PSE didn't fight it and neither did i.
at this point, we're on a new insurance plan now and maybe they'll be kinder to us.
what do you wanna bet that that will be the case?
the PSE paid the criminals $101.20 in cash out of pocket and went on her way.

the potion that the PSE wanted from the dermatologist was also not covered by our bullshit 2016 Obamacare insurance.
when the PSE went to go pick it up at the Wal-Mart they demanded $180.
the PSE said no, she wasn't going to pay that and came home empty handed.
back at the house the PSE did some research into how to solve her problem and came up with a website called GoodRX which apparently gives coupons for medications.
sure enough, there was one for the face cream the PSE was after and the PSE was able to go back to the Wal-Mart Pharmacy and get the cream she needed for $50.
which is still a lot of money for goddamn face cream, but the PSE says it should last her for at least a year.

good for the PSE for being able to get something for less then the asking price, but the whole situation sits ill with me.
prices for things shouldn't work like that.
the way i understand how markets work, a company sets a price for their product by factoring in raw materials, production costs and a fair profit margin.
if the manufacturer of the PSE's medication can afford to knock 72% off of their original asking price and still carry on in business then they are pricing their product wrong.
when we're talking about medication, this pricing error rises to the level of a moral failing.
if a company can afford to sell something for cheaper then they are selling it, why don't they do that.
the answer, of course, is Capitalism.
Adam Smith would tell you that the way Capitalism is supposed to work is that companies compete against each other to deliver increasingly improving products at increasingly diminishing prices.
in reality, anybody who has ever had to deal with an insurance company or power companies or healthcare providers or airlines or the telecommunications industry will tell you that Capitalism is just a code word for 'greed.'
monopolies, collusion and price-fixing allow them to make up whatever number they want for stuff that people don't have any choice but to buy, totally divorced from the calculus it actually costs to make and manufacture the product.
so $180 for a tube of medication, $50, fuck it, it doesn't matter!
it's all profit in the bank.

the PSE has wanted braces for the past twenty years.
the PSE's teeth are fine, there is nothing really wrong with them, but girls always find things they want to change about their bodies because that's what society tells them to do.
the PSE thinks her nose is too big, too.
the PSE's got one or two teeth down on the bottom row that overlap and she's got one on the top row right in the front that juts out, like an egg tooth a baby bird might use to get out of its shell.
the only real effect the PSE's malformed teeth have on her is that they make tearing open packaging with her teeth damn-near impossible.
i am from the school of thought that says it is better both psychologically as well as fiscally for people to just learn to love themselves the way they are.
but, goddamn if i didn't drop three grand on hair plugs when we were in the Philippines.
you can talk about self-acceptance all you want but nobody respects a receding hairline.

i have told the PSE on more then a few occasions “if you want braces, get braces,” because i think it is important that mates don't tell each other what they can and cannot spend money on.
even though i really, really would prefer for her to not spend my money on this shit.
fortunately, the PSE is too cheep to actually go out and get braces for herself.
that would be a $7,000 proposition.
the PSE has looked into driving down to Mexico for orthodontia work but even that would be too much of an expense because the PSE is really, really frugal.

a few weeks ago the PSE came across a company that will sell you braces through the mail.
i had braces when i was a kid because my Parents are upper-middle class and that is what you are supposed to do to your children, even though i don't recall actually needing them.
i had to go to the orthodontist every few weeks for him to tighten them up, so, i don't know how a company thinks it can do all of that machining that through the mail.
i guess they'll send you a lug wrench?
this braces-through-the-mail company was charging first $99, then $39 for them to send you out a kit to take impressions of your teeth to get the ball rolling.
the PSE was too cheep to pay $99 or even $39 but eventually the company dropped their starter kit's price down to free for a limited time only and the PSE seized the opportunity.
they sent her a few balls of clay in the mall and told her take impressions of her bite to send back to their lab for analysis.

the treatment to give the PSE a normal mouth full of straight, orderly teeth would involve the PSE wearing a series of mouth-plates while she slept and should take between ten months to a year to complete.
the price tag the company gave the PSE to fix her mouth was $1,500.
or, $1,750 on the installment plan, but the PSE and i aren't poor suckers.
the PSE decided she isn't going to do it.
$1,500 is still too much money to spend on something as trivial as getting your teeth in a row.
also, the PSE said she would kind of miss her snaggle-teeth.
as much as she wants to fix them, they are a part of her
i was happy to hear that.

//[onward ho!]

September 2017

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